Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Richard Burr

Select Links While I’m Away (Part 1)

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It Was The Week That Wouldn’t End and It Was Only Half Over

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* The time has come for all good people to follow Conan O’Brien on Twitter.

* Pay attention, North Carolina: “It is impossible for any candidate to get to the right of me.” I honestly don’t care who is running against him, I’ll pull the lever.

* Rush Limbaugh is this and every day’s worst person in the world.

* Glenn Beck: Judas!

* Ezra Klein hates America so much he’s trying to pretend that reconciliation isn’t just another world for communofascism.

* Matt Yglesias and Climate Progress explain to the editors of the Washington Post where all this climate misinformation mysteriously originates: their own completely useless editorial page and the liars they happily print there.

* Related: Reid wants a climate bill.

* Also related: Vermont has voted to close its problem-plagued Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. How long can a nuclear reactor last? Via MeFi.

* The secret origins of TV Tropes. Historical footnote: the first TV Trope ever was the Gilligan Cut.

* Behold the terror of the Zeigarnik Effect: “the tendency to experience intrusive thoughts about an objective that was once pursued and left incomplete.”

* “DNA’s Dirty Little Secret: A forensic tool renowned for exonerating the innocent may actually be putting them in prison.” Via Steve Benen.

Barlow’s main point of contention was statistics. Typically, law enforcement and prosecutors rely on FBI estimates for the rarity of a given DNA profile—a figure can be as remote as one in many trillions when investigators have all thirteen markers to work with. In Puckett’s case, where there were only five and a half markers available, the San Francisco crime lab put the figure at one in 1.1 million—still remote enough to erase any reasonable doubt of his guilt. The problem is that, according to most scientists, this statistic is only relevant when DNA material is used to link a crime directly to a suspect identified through eyewitness testimony or other evidence. In cases where a suspect is found by searching through large databases, the chances of accidentally hitting on the wrong person are orders of magnitude higher. 

The reasons for this aren’t difficult to grasp: consider what happens when you take a DNA profile that has a rarity of one in a million and run it through a database that contains a million people; chances are you’ll get a coincidental match. Given this fact, the two leading scientific bodies that have studied the issue—the National Research Council and the FBI’s DNA advisory board—have recommended that law enforcement and prosecutors calculate the probability of a coincidental match differently in cold-hit cases. In particular, they recommend multiplying the FBI’s rarity statistic by the number of profiles in the database, to arrive at a figure known as the Database Match Probability. When this formula is applied to Puckett’s case (where a profile with a rarity of one in 1.1 million was run through a database of 338,000 offenders) the chances of a coincidental match climb to one in three.

* Why autism is different for girls.

* Chat Roulette: a documentary.

* Do MFA programs hurt poetry?

* Teach the controversy: “There is no unified flat Earth model,” Shenton suggests, “but the most commonly accepted one is that it’s more or less a disc, with a ring of something to hold in the water. The height and substance of that, no one is absolutely sure, but most people think it’s mountains with snow and ice.”

* In response to a new federal mandate to fix under-performing schools, every teacher will be fired at Central Falls High School in Rhode Island. Via MetaFilter, where the conversation is by turns fascinating and soul-crushing. I’m expecting another round of (justified) anti-Duncan, anti-Obama diatribes from my friends in public education in five… four… three…

* And an awesome post I missed from Tim a few weeks back: the top-ten most desirable rare video games.

Tuesday Night

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* If you missed it, TPM has the text of Obama’s speech tonight explaining the escalation in Afghanistan. Very disappointing, if not altogether unexpected. The (very) small bright side is the timetable for beginning our withdrawal: July 2011.

* TNR‘s The Vine has a good post on the CRU hack in context. Judging from the emails I’ve been receiving I suspect his call for a sense of perspective on this may go unheeded.

* Cal Cunningham will run for Senate in North Carolina after all.

* 25 years after Bhopal.

* Krugman: Yes, the recession is probably over in a technical sense, but that doesn’t mean that full employment is just around the corner. Historically, financial crises have typically been followed not just by severe recessions but by anemic recoveries; it’s usually years before unemployment declines to anything like normal levels. And all indications are that the aftermath of the latest financial crisis is following the usual script. The Federal Reserve, for example, expects unemployment, currently 10.2 percent, to stay above 8 percent — a number that would have been considered disastrous not long ago — until sometime in 2012.

* And Boing Boing highlights a study showing altruists and sociopaths share similar pathologies—not that this is news to any reader of Batman comics…

Beating Richard Burr

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TPM takes a look at the struggling political fortunes of North Carolina’s other Senator, Richard Burr, up for reelection in 2010. He ran a pretty odious campaign against Erskine Bowles in 2004, but really has accomplished almost literally nothing since that time.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 11, 2009 at 7:59 pm

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Friday Night!

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Friday night! Let’s linkdump.

* If you sent a letter to Whole Foods about the John Mackey Wall Street Journal editorial, you probably got a response tonight. I’d post what I received, but the small print at the bottom instructs me I cannot:

This email contains proprietary and confidential material for the sole use of the intended recipient. Any review, use, distribution or disclosure by others without the permission of the sender is strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient (or authorized to receive for the recipient), please contact the sender by reply email and delete all copies of the message.

I certainly appreciate their crafting a non-apology apology for my sole use. I don’t know how Daily Kos got a hold of it.

* NJ-GOV blogging: TPM, TPM, FiveThirtyEight.com.

* Also in Jersey news: Bob Dylan hassled by local NJ cop.

* NC-SEN blogging: Everyone hates Richard Burr.

* Airlock Alpha speaks the truth: it’s obviously too early for another Battlestar Galactica reboot.

* ‘Amusing Ourselves to Death’: Huxley vs. Orwell.

* From Betsy to Rush to Sarah Palin to Chuck Grassley to your own old relatives forwarding you crazy shit.

* SF on HBO?

* Joe Siegel’s heirs have won rights to a few more early Superman stories.

* Whitney Phillips at Confessions of an Aca/Fan tracks down the provenance of the recent Obama/Joker/SOCIALISM graffiti. Of course, it was 4chan.

* Obama sips it. Paris Hilton loves it. Mary J. Blige won’t sing without it. How did a plastic water bottle, imported from a military dictatorship thousands of miles away, become the epitome of cool?

Wednesday Night Links

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Wednesday night links.

* Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers was on Colbert last night. The reporting Jaimee and I did for the Indy‘s green issue this year sadly convinced me that Rogers’s “responsible CEO” schtick is 90% PR, and this clean-coal-centric interview didn’t sway that opinion a bit.

* Meanwhile, health-insurance CEOs agree: they totally have the right to screw you out of coverage you paid for once you actually need it.

* A reality check on Twitter and the protests in Iran.

* A good sign for 2010: Richard Burr trails Generic Democrat by 3 points.

* Who could have predicted that the NSA’s domestic surveillance program would be abused?

* Alice and Kev, homeless Sims. Via Kotaku.

* Darkseid without New Gods.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 18, 2009 at 1:09 am

NC-Sen

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North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper will not run against Richard Burr in 2010. Too bad.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 15, 2009 at 8:32 pm

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